oh god okay I’m going to give this my best shot at remaining “”“unbiased”“”
this is going to be long so brace yourself:
I’m not the biggest Sasuke fan alright? So I’m just going to go ahead and put that out there. I like his character, I’m fuckin INTRIGUED by EVERYTHING he does, and I spend a good chunk of my time trying to figure him and his motives out in the chapters. I don’t “love” him, but I like him, and I’m fascinated with him so I can’t help but practically be drawn to him.
He’s hard to read. Like, so fucking hard. Was I expecting a revolution? Fuck no. That came outta left field and knocked me right in the goddamn head; it threw me for such a loop.
But the thing is he’s never been straight-forward or easy to read about much of anything, but there has ALWAYS been a reason for all his different actions. He doesn’t do things without having a reason and that is a damn fact.
Another thing is that he’s constantly denying his own damn emotions. He claims he spared Naruto’s life on nothing more than a whim? Yeah lmao okay whatever you say Sasuke, but if you ask me it’s the biggest load of horse-shit to ever come out of his mouth.
Then he claimed he’s “completely severed” his ties with Team 7 when they finally find him—again, another steaming pile of shit. It’s proven again and again that he still holds them somewhere in his heart no matter how hard he tries to break those bonds.
So multiple times it shows Sasuke claiming one thing while hiding the real truth inside himself. He doesn’t like to show weakness and to him, emotion, caring, love, it’s all weakness.
Now this is where Sakura comes in. She offers him love and happiness and stability and she offers him her for the rest of forever. But of course he’s thirteen and angry and has a goal and goddamn he’s not letting anything get in his way, so he leaves.
But in that final scene together before he leaves Konoha it shows that he cares. He falters and he listens and he thinks and he actually gives her a reply. He has some sort of feelings for her; whether it’s romantic love or purely platonic love, there’s something there.
And throughout all this time, he still cares for them. He may claim high and low that he doesn’t give a flying fuck but he’s straight-up lying. It’s just like Sasuke Uchiha to deny his feelings and lie about things like emotion, and it’s what he’s doing in the manga at this very second.
He’s lying and suppressing his thoughts and feelings about the entirety of team seven right now. Those ties are still in tact. They may be hanging by a thread—a frayed, old, worn thread—but they are undoubtedly there and he is Sasuke Uchiha so he will never let anyone know. He’ll never clue into it for as long as he fucking lives.
When he placed her under that genjutsu, stabbing her through the chest in it before she completely loses consciousness, he did that for a reason. He could’ve ignored her. He could have actually, physically hurt her very badly, but he chose not to. He chose genjutsu, something that would hurt her just enough to keep her out of their way. He doesn’t want her following them.
He puts the genjutsu on her to keep her away and to hurt her emotionally.
Sasuke wants her to hate him.
He sees that damn love she has for him and his immediate response is with an action that shows the complete opposite. He wants her to see what he can possibly do to her, he wants to show her that she supposedly means nothing to him, and he wants her to forget about him and to fucking hate him.
Even Naruto himself said that the genjutsu was unnecessary. And he’s right. I can imagine plenty of other ways he or Naruto could’ve gotten her to stay behind of remain out of it. But Sasuke did that for a reason.
Like I said: He wants her to hate him. He sees her love for him and shuts it out. And again, like I said before, emotion, love, is a weakness he thinks he doesn’t need.
He can’t afford to love because he has plans and goals and a fucking revolution he wants to start. He knows that if he kills Naruto, Sakura will still live and still be alive during his revolution, but he wants her to hate him.
Does Sasuke love her? I don’t know. Did he ever love her? I think he may have but again, I don’t know. But what I do know is that he still has that bond—that tie that he’ll never be able to completely sever—and after all that’s said and done Sakura will still love him and Sasuke will be starting off fresh and new with nothing more than his name and the ties to Team 7 he still has. (I’m convinced that he’ll come back with Naruto at the end of the war and return to Konoha.)
Sakura will always love him and by the time things calm down and Sasuke has no more revenge left to follow through with, no more hate and anger to take out on others, and no more toxic thoughts, he’ll have nothing but a clean slate to start with.
And by the time he gets his shit together, Sakura will still be there, waiting for him like she’s been doing all this time already.
So to actually answer your question, I don’t think this chapter was bad for Sasuke and Sakura. It reaffirmed Sakura’s feelings in the most explicit way possible, and showed to us—with the parallel to 181 and the genjutsu—that Sasuke does indeed (like Sakura hoped) have a small spot in that fucked-up heart of his for her.
It also does show that Sasuke is still a pissbaby fuckboy and needs a good beating from Naruto (which is, thankfully, to follow in the next several chapters). But yes, this chapter wasn’t negative for SasuSaku, and it wasn’t entirely happy-go-lucky positive, but it certainly helped shed a lot of light and kept SS in the spotlight with the chance of a canon ending very much possible.
Especially since Kishimoto likes to fucking torture the shit out of shippers. Meh, we’ll find out what’s going down soon enough.