From episode 2. Akari sleeps in Itchan's room for comfort the night before her make-up exam. Although the dialog in the screencap may not look like it, Itchan is being supportive. :-)

I think the element of Battle Athletes that I like best is its treatment of the themes of friendship. It provides one of the truest and most thought-provoking pictures of the meaning of friendship, through pitfalls and challenges and human weakness, that I have ever seen in an anime series.

I love the colors of this cel and background, and I wish they had scanned a bit better.