Encounter Yuyuka Nekota makes an appearance early into the first volume as soon as Suzume starts her first school day as a transfer student. Prior to being assigned to a class, the students on the campus are shown gossiping about Suzume’s plain looks, to which Yuyuka responds with a succinct “Don’t mock others behind their back.” It is not until halfway into the volume that Yuyuka is properly introduced, as Suzume spends her first school day befriending her desk neighbour, the notoriously aloof and seemingly brusque Daiki Mamura (henceforth referred to as Mamura) — who, as she is the first to find out, is actually just shy around girls, especially when it comes to physical contact. Owing to his reputation, their familiarity soon becomes a topic of conversation on the following day, something which Yuyuka takes note of from afar.
Following some success on Suzume’s side to grow closer to her fellow students, Yuyuka approaches her on the same day to introduce herself as a classmate.
I’ve been wanting to talk to you all this time, but I thought that it’d be too pushy. I hope to become friends with you. You looked great in gym. Actually, I’ve found you likable from the beginning, but didn’t have the courage…
It merits mentioning that Yuyuka striking up a conversation with Suzume is framed as Suzume’s highlight of the day, and she’s overjoyed that a girl as “cute”, “pretty” and “doll-like” as Yuyuka not just talks to her, but wants to be her friend. The two of them exchange cell phone numbers and part with the promise to spend some time together soon. Unbeknownst to Suzume, Yuyuka is quietly snickering at her new “friend’s” naïveté.
Invitation Not too long afterwards, Yuyuka invites Suzume to go bowling with her at the weekend. The newcomer is surprised that the pretty girl indeed intends to spend time with her, and asks whether they could drag Mamura along, which ends with the entire class planning to meet up. A day after Yuyuka texts Suzume with time and place and tells her she’s looking forward to it, an eager Suzume waits for the rest of her classmates six stations away from her uncle’s place — yet nobody is showing up, and Yuyuka, the only one whose number she has, isn’t answering her calls either. Meanwhile, Yuyuka is telling the class that Suzume texted she’d be late, and that they should start without her.
Shishio, their homeroom teacher, appears out of the blue to help Suzume out; a phone call to the class representative reveals the actual meeting place. Though Shishio tries to convince Suzume on their way there that she’s the victim of an intrigue, she refuses to believe that a person as “cute” and “good” as Yuyuka is capable of something like that. At the bowling center, Yuyuka offers Mamura a drink in an attempt to chat (and to spend some time alone with him by suggesting to go look for Suzume), but he brushes her off: “You know, you and I aren’t even friends.”
Confrontation As soon as Suzume arrives, she takes Yuyuka aside to ask whether or not she was intentionally isolated from the group. Initially feigning confusion, Yuyuka drops her smile, retorting that it’s a pity Suzume isn’t as dense as she thought (which, I assume, means that she’d have found it more entertaining to play Suzume for a while longer). She reveals her friendly face to be an act and states that she has never thought of Suzume as a friend.
The two of them get physical following a snide remark of Yuyuka’s about Suzume’s friends from the countryside. Shishio arrives in time to break it up — and witnesses Yuyuka’s emotional outburst:
Why can’t it be me?! Why can someone like you get along with Mamura whereas I am being given the cold shoulder?
In that instant, Suzume recognizes Yuyuka’s feelings for Mamura, so when he arrives at the scene and they are questioned by a classmate whether they were fighting, she covers for the girl — literally so, as she shields Yuyuka’s face — whose tears and silence threaten to betray her: “We were wrestling! I want to participate in the next amateur wrestling competition, […] that’s why Yuyuka-chan agreed to help me practice.” In a private conversation afterwards, Suzume is confronted with the question why she didn’t just reveal what kind of person Yuyuka truly is, but concludes that the girl’s lies do not change the fact that their first conversation made her very happy, and that although Yuyuka may have a nasty personality, there are still good sides to her.
Yuyuka, in her own way, admits defeat, and walks off saying that Suzume’s foolishness will rub off if they stay together, but that she doesn’t mind them becoming friends since it means she’ll be able to get closer to Mamura. Suzume’s thoughts that follow very much paint her future relationship with her new friend as well as one of Daytime Shooting Star’s strengths:
Heh, still not honest at all. I saved the message Yuyuka-chan sent me that day. I was a little envious of Yuyuka-chan. If one day I can be like her and recklessly fall in love with someone… I can’t help but imagine.