I just didn't read it that way at all, and think it failed awkwardly in this regard if the goal was to convey that (feel free to point out if I missed evidence though).
Episode 38 is clearly meant to be a "love confession", Christmas being a lover's holiday in Japan.
But of course, people will see what they want to see when it comes to ships.
People have already gone from "Yamato and Sora didn't talk to each other in Adventure" to "they're obviously as close platonic friends as Sora and Taichi in tri." Sora and Yamato as friendly exes seems even more ooc for them.
The depiction of Yamato and Sora's relationship in t.1 caught me (and others, I'm guessing) off guard (I haven't had time to read through all of the discussion about the movie, so apologies if this has already come up and is beating a dead horse at this point).
My memory was that they started dating during the course of 02 (or at least definitely by Revenge of Diaboromon a couple months later), and yet their relationship in t.1 seems too distant to be currently dating yet too friendly (or not awkward enough) for them to have broken up.None of that stuff happened for Tri's world, clearly.Tri is not nearly as staunchly beholden to every piece of 02 continuity as is presumed here. Firstly, the partner Digimon could be able to Super Evolve now because the Holy Beasts no longer need to borrow the power of the Crests. MY PROJECTS Published books: Odd Lodgings, The Silent Garden & Darker Places, Collecting in Darkness & Other Stories Digimon Fan Fiction: The Call Card Games: Digimon Tactics and Shadow Stories [both in-progress] Questions or comments?Of course, the canoncity of the Drama CDs is debatable, but it's an example of how their relationship was acknowledged as fact post-episode 38.As for their relationship status in tri., this tumblr post explains it rather convincingly.Anywya, in answer to the OP, many people did interpret their relationship as consistent with 02, the same way many people did not. But it seems rather unlikely with the way certain things just aren't being mentioned (of course, in an future episode things could be explained super clear.) We do know certain things clearly are being handled differently, so we don't actually know what's being kept or not.Except vague continuity shifts are rather standard in anime. Clearly something is going on with that relationship that was not how it was chosen to be handled in 02.It's very possible the film intended them to come across as dating.Or that they're supposed to have dated and broken up but still have some romantic chemistry.Certain elements are simply ignored and may or may not appear later.We don't really know for sure what is going on, but the explanations I've seen from many people are weird and often argumentative against their own explanations (as in explanation A says 'this', but then they thrown in an explanation B, which doesn't work at all if you take 'this' into account.