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I’m in Love with the Villainess: Language of Flowers

In lieu of the release of the 3rd manga volume of beloved series I’m in Love with the Villainess (congrats Inori sensei and Aonoshimo and Hanagata sensei!), I noticed an interesting trend with the manga volume covers…

There’s always a unique flower theme occurring, so I decided to take a deep dive into if they held a deeper meaning to them and to my pleasant surprise, they did. 

The 1st manga volume features the rose as its flower, and specifically pink rose petals at that. 

The rose represents many different aspects, but the pink color is often associated with admiration of one’s refinement, elegance, and femininity. A fitting color for joy and gentleness, and conveying a sense of happiness and strong desire for another person to be happy. Lastly, the pink rose is tied to an admiration or a love that has not progressed to the crimson red rose of passion. 

I think the pink rose petals encapsulate the first volume well. After all, this marks the beginning of the story, and more importantly the beginning of Rei and Claire’s wonderful love story. It makes sense that their relationship has not reached a stage of passion or true love (but it will get there obviously). 

It also fits especially so for wishing for another’s happiness. Rei consistently says and shows that what she truly desires is for Claire to be happy. 

For better or worse. Likewise, we are shown that Rei admires Claire greatly, despite knowing all of Claire’s flaws, but loves her the more for it. 

It gets to an unhealthy point for Rei, where she places Claire on an unattainable pedestal. Possibly doing it to distance herself from Claire to save herself from the hurt of possible rejection. 

So the pink rose petals, tying to Rei’s love and admiration for Claire, but masking her true feelings in just wanting the best for Claire. One day, and hopefully Rei realizes that she herself should be the one to make Claire happy, and not trust in some faceless Prince Charming. 

The 2nd volume features red anemone flowers, and a whole lot of them. And their significance…well it hits deep and hard. They represent forsaken love in particular, having given up on one’s love. Also symbolizes fragility. The flower’s naming background is interesting, where from Greek mythology, anemones sprang from the goddess of love’s tears as she wept for the death of her lover, who was killed by the gods’ jealousy over their love affair. 

I don’t think I need to explain that red is the color of love…and passion. 

This volume really brings to the forefront of how strongly Rei hides her true feelings of love for Claire. Rei likes to play the fool and proclaim her love for Claire constantly, but is so scared of any genuine reaction from Claire that she’d rather just joke around with it then face possible rejection. 

It’s her way of coping, despite being unhealthy. 

She had already closed her heart, to really protect herself from getting hurt. 

But of course, it’s easier said then done, truly killing your feelings for someone you love. Isn’t it?

Rei takes it a step further, trying to set up Claire and Thane together, knowing that Claire has some feelings for Thane. Even the other characters point out how weird that is, even Claire. But if Rei just opened her eyes, I think she would find that just maybe, it’s not a hopeless situation and that Claire is slowly warming up to her. 

Claire literally interrupted her alone with him, just to make sure Rei was safe and not hurt. Goes to show who’s really on the forefront of her mind (wink wink). 

What is up with these manga covers symbolizing Rei’s love struggles? Can’t we get some wholesome symbolism? 

The manga cover for volume 3 features orange (or yellow?) chrysanthemum flowers. They signify the feelings of delicate love, but also rejected love. Sorrow. And neglected love. 

This was interesting because Rei and Claire actually do get closer in this volume, having spent more time together and even doing an overnight sleepover at the school! Claire even comes to Rei’s rescue as Rei messes up an order when they are hosting a maid cafe (read the manga for context). 

But at the end of the volume, we do get a glimpse of Claire starting to understand that Rei is putting on a facade. 

Even Claire has her limits, as she just can’t believe someone can love her despite all her flaws and imperfect personality. 


It’s a somber note to end a manga volume on, where Claire decides to put her foot down and reestablish their dynamic as commoner and noble. She uses that as an excuse to distance the two of them. It’s interesting that Claire is protecting her own emotions too, for all the different reasons. She just can’t figure out why Rei is doing all this for her, and wants to be spared the disappointment if Rei has ulterior motives. 

While Rei on the other hand, hides her cards because she wants to be spared the pain if Claire doesn’t have an ounce of feeling for her. Both of them are contradictory individuals, but it’s only human to act differently than how one truly feels. 

Extra note: I found it interesting how each progressive manga cover, Claire becomes less apprehensive and even smiles on the 3rd cover. On the other hand, Rei slowly distances herself from Claire, from dancing with her, to standing back to back with her, and to just not touching her at all. It wonderfully portrays Claire’s slowly warming up to Rei and liking her, while physically showing Rei’s keeping Claire at an arm’s length but still longingly looking at her. 

Oof. That was some heavy analysis. Now for a bonus symbolism for the second cover of the Light novel! And it’s pink hydrangeas everywhere on the cover. This one’s a happy connotation, I promise. 

Pink hydrangeas signify heartfelt emotion, feelings of true love and sincerity. It’s the mark of a joyful new beginning, often for congratulating a couple on their engagement. And honestly, what better way to celebrate when everything is finally laid bare in this novel. Rei and Claire admit their love for each other, and the payoff is immense. Rei takes Claire’s happiness into her own hands and is selfish for all the right reasons for once, while Claire learns that Rei truly loves her unconditionally and from the bottom of her heart. A really beautiful love story that comes full circle. 

The manga is to enter its 3rd arc soon…and that’s when the real plot will start kicking in. It’s going to be a blast eventually seeing all of this drawn, and it’s going to be legendary. Can’t wait for the future manga volume covers, and ILTV forever!

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