So, now it's my turn to go onto thin ice and attempt a preliminary
interpretation of the ending and the relationship between Kyousuke and Kirino. Although I have to mention that to me the question of whether Kirino and Kyousuke are still dating etc. is not that important. Most of what I say is based upon subjective assumptions and interpretation, so I know that I can't prove myself right, nor somebody else wrong.
1) Do Kirino and Kyousuke return to being normal siblings?: Their agreement does stipulate that after they graduate they return to being normal siblings. So, why do I put that in a question mark? Now first of all, disregarding their possible intentions, I think it is impossible for them to return to being your normal siblings, even if they wanted. The reason, or better assumption, given by myself is, it is impossible for them to return to being normal siblings as long as they love each other and are aware of this fact. And despite them seemingly breaking up after the marriage ceremony I think it can be seen as pretty sure, that they still love each other.
For Kyousuke I think this can be seen as pretty sure, he rejected everybody due to his love for Kirino (compare what Manami said in her questioning, and also his declaration later, both in Chapter 6) and in the end declared that not taking anyone else was his decision. Concerning Kirino, we don't get to listen to her heart, but I also think that she still loves him. Why? Because after getting through so much trouble to realize her desire, it would be ridiculous in my eyes if she suddenly stopped loving him. Furthermore it was her, who was eager in telling all of their friends of them dating, if you are ready to stop loving someone after the 'return to siblings' (they made this agreement on Christmas), why do you go as far as voluntarily declaring your love to so many people? Last but not least she, like Kyousuke, was ready to give up many things for her love. To conclude it, for both of them it would be just ridiculous if they were able to just shut down their love on command. And my theory is, as long as they are in love, the can't be
regarded as normal siblings.
Another question in this context is, if they return to being normal siblings after the wedding, what was the sense of that wedding? Because if they indeed return to to being normal siblings, this wedding ceremony was completely violating the meaning of wedding. A wedding normally seals the relationship of a couple, so if they went back to being siblings, this wedding would be more like a divorce (or a marriage-then-divorce) ceremony.
2) What does the wedding ceremony mean?: So, the question now is, what does this wedding ceremony mean? It is clear, that this was no official wedding. This wedding was organized by Kyousuke just for the two of them, nobody else was there. Not their parents, and also not the friends they had informed about their relationship (and who supported them). Now, does this mean this was a fake wedding, a wedding just for fun, or in truth an ending ceremony? My view on this is, this was indeed a legit
First of all, a look at the motivation of the protagonists Kyousuke and Kirino. Kyousuke makes it very clear, that he treats this wedding very seriously and not as some kind of joke / fun event. He states in Chapter 6
Furthermore, he went to great to lengths to organize this marriage. How about Kirino then? This matter is complicated by the issue, that the entire Volume 12 is only told from the perspective from Kyousuke. So we have to rely much more on assumptions / signs etc. when trying to assess Kirino's intentions. But here I also think that Kirino treats this as a serious matter. First of all, she is very happy about that entire marriage. She was overwhelmed when Kyousuke proposed and she went completely dere-dere during the ceremony itself, when she declared that she was very happy. Then, it has always been her dream to marry Kyousuke. The Kirino of three years ago asked in the very beginning of the recording
Now of course is the issue, they held a wedding ceremony that has not been attended or recognized by anybody. And Kirino herself always mentioned that siblings are not allowed to marry. At this point, I think the Mikagami part is pretty important. Mikagami's statement was never contradicted by Kyousuke and Kyousuke seemed to be impressed by it. Assuming the author didn't include this part just to show how crazy Mikagami is (that should be clear enough with that bike thing
), then I think it is safe to conclude that this passage has its meaning when interpreting Kirino's and Kyousuke's wedding. So what was that part?
So, if one applies Mikagami's statement to Kyousuke and Kirino's situation, the conclusion is, that although their wedding has no worth before the society, for them individually
, it counts as a true wedding. So, if one interprets the wedding in this way, they consider themselves married. Now of course, the question is, why do they still declare they are from that point on normal siblings?
3) Internal / External: This is now the most shaky part of this interpretation. And this shaky part is, Kyousuke and Kirino are internalising their relationship with the wedding. They move it from an outside sphere into their respective hearts. In this light I of course have to take a spectacular leap and interpret their agreement by adding something myself
And this amendment I make is, their agreement stipulates their outward behaviour. Of course the big problem is, I can't prove this, so everybody can attack this spot of my interpretation in a big way. So, how did this interpretation arise? Well, because I was somewhat puzzled by the way Kirino stormed out and told like every one of their mutual friends about their relationship. As she already knew that they were going to 'end' this relationship, why did she bother risking that much by telling not only Saori and Kuroneko, but also Sakurai, Ayase, Sena and perhaps Mikagami? It would have been no problem, and most likely a far more convenient choice, to just ride it out together with Kyousuke. To sum it up, this interpretation stipulates that before their graduation they go out in a relatively
public fashion, and after their graduation, they are behaving like normal siblings in the public.
4) So, having written all this, what is my opinion on their relationship? My opinion, as stipulated in the beginning is, they are not in a normal siblings relationship. But this also does not automatically mean that I think they are secretly dating / kissing / hugging. I tend to regard their love / relationship on an emotional level. As such, it doesn't matter whether they are actively dating / kissing in secret, as this would not have an important influence upon their relationship, as this relationship is internalised in their hearts. To put it short, in my opinion they are not necessarily going out, but they are together
in a romantical relationship, they are a 'married' couple. This way Kirino's dream of staying together forever with Kyousuke can be realized and Kyousuke's decision to date nobody is also nothing too sad.
So, last but not least, why aren't they taking it public? Well, to put it in Kyousuke's words,