Episode 10 – Love Live! Sunshine!! – Anime News Network
However, for the time being, Chika and Riko’s feelings get front and center attention.
Even though Riko tells Chika she’s already made up her mind about joining the girls for the Love Live!
preliminaries, Chika urges Riko to go for the piano competition. It’s a lot like Kanan and Mari’s relationship in a lot of ways?not only in the personal sacrifices to better someone else’s life but also their closeness.
The end of the episode is sweet and revealing. After Chika spills her feelings to Riko about her hopes for her friend, promising that the other girls will always be there for her, Riko pulls her in for an embrace and says, “I love you.”
For a variety of reasons, I’d like their relationship to be more than just platonic friendship, largely because that’s so glaringly absent from anime, but shows with all-female casts have a notorious tendency to sidestep same-sex romantic relationships,
opting to instead build things up just enough to give fans something to ship (see Nico & Maki or Mari & Kanan). It might also be notable that Riko used “daisuki da yo” versus “aishiteru yo,” which can connote “like like” versus “love.” Even if it ends up falling short, it’s nice to see the characters of Love Live! Sunshine!!
connecting at a more meaningful level than just your rote on-screen friendships.
My own friendships with my close female friends are precious and irreplaceable, so I’ve always placed a special value on other such friendships.
ちかっちは友達としての梨子への気持ちを伝えたけど、りこちゃんは抱きしめてi love youって言ったね！