Yuri is shown to express maturity and sophistication. She has extensively long, straight, dark purple hair and light purple eyes, and she wears purple barrettes on both sides of her head, positioned upon two prominent strands of hair beside her bangs.
While at school, she wears the standard school uniform consisting of a warm gray blazer, brown sweater vest, white shirt slightly unbuttoned at the collar, red ribbon, dark blue skirt, white knee-high socks, and white uwabaki slippers with sky blue tips. When the player chooses to work with Yuri, she wears a beige turtleneck sweater with black leggings. The protagonist describes her movements as surprisingly elegant due to her long legs.
Yuri is the tallest female character in the game, standing at 5' 5" (165 cm) in the game's concept stage, according to Dan Salvato. She is also the most physically developed, adding to her traits of maturity and insecurity.
Yuri is portrayed throughout the majority of the game as being shy, generous, polite, apologetic, very intelligent, mature, eloquent, and passionate about topics she is interested in, although she is also very insecure, awkward, and has a tendency to act slightly condescending and patronizing to mask her self-doubt. Her façade of passivity and level-headed nature occasionally breaks, however, as Yuri does argue passionately and aggressively with Natsuki over their differing opinions on writing styles. Yuri has a deep desire to be liked by others and is afraid to speak her mind on matters as she believes it will make her seem unlikable. Due to her social ineptitude, she can be innocently insensitive, but once she realizes what she said could be considered rude, she almost immediately apologizes, repeatedly saying she did not mean it. As stated by the protagonist, Yuri likes to think before she says something.
Yuri is the "shrinking violet" (a term to describe a character who prefers to blend in with the scenery than to attract unwanted attention) or "dandere" of the club members because of her constant apologetic nature. The attribution is also because of being shy to discussions beyond her category of interest, her interests being literature, horror, and general surrealism, which she examines and articulates expertly and encourages others to follow as well. In the middle of Act 1, Natsuki and Yuri getting into a debate about their different writing styles. Choosing to side with Natsuki will cause Yuri to shy away from the player, and if the protagonist attempts to read their poem to Yuri, she will not respond, which will cause the protagonist to decide it is best to leave her alone. If the player calls for Sayori to diffuse the situation, Sayori will compliment both Yuri and Natsuki on their writing and capabilities. The argument will dissolve afterwards and both Yuri and Natsuki will be satisfied with Sayori's response.
Yuri's love of surrealism seems to be foreshadowing further events of the game, with Yuri's surrealistic eyes and the game's horrific nature after Sayori's suicide. Yuri prefers poetry that uses metaphorical symbolism and enjoys collecting unusual ornate knives, implicitly (in Act 1 at least) used for self-harm. The detailed summaries of the Portrait of Markov novel in the first and second act, when also taking the scattered dialogue references into account, all end up tracing back to her unstable nature and unhinged personality.
Yuri takes great pride in her poetry and perceives her poetry as being superior to that of the other club members, especially Natsuki. According to Dan Salvato, this is a coping mechanism for her deep insecurity and self-doubt, convincing herself that she is the sophisticated, mature one and that her critics or rivals are immature and childish. This can make her seem arrogant and patronizing to those unfamiliar to her. This desire to seem intellectual and high-brow is reflected in her poetic style. Her poems are so full of metaphors and advanced language that the meaning is often obscured, or even lost. In Monika's Talk, Monika wonders whether Yuri is as passionate about certain topics (such as tea) as she makes out, or whether she is "just concerned about appearing sophisticated to everyone else."
Yuri has trouble making and keeping friends, as she tends to come on too strongly, due to her intense desire to be liked. It is said that she used to be judged for her appearance and mannerisms, providing another possible explanation as to why she secludes herself to her introverted lifestyle. She is, however, a generous and giving person, exemplified by her giving a copy of Portrait of Markov to the protagonist and for bringing tea to the Literature Club to help soothe the mind and help stay focused during reading.
During Act 2, Monika amplifies Yuri's negative personality traits. This causes her to have sanity slippages that result in an abnormal obsession with the protagonist and her already-existing hobbies becoming more of perverted detailing and self-destruction, to the point where Monika suggests that Yuri cuts herself due to a fetish. This also causes her to become invasive and condescending to the other club members, asking Natsuki "Why don't you look for coins under the vending machine?", which causes Natsuki to cry and run away. In one occasion, Yuri shows a poem to the protagonist with blood and urine stains on it, telling him that she has put her scent on it. Yuri will then realize what she has done and leave the club, stating that she is going to vomit.
If all three poems are written for Yuri in Act 2, the scene where Yuri is discovered to be cutting herself will happen once more, but then will show Yuri with blank eyes and a glitching sprite. Afterwards, she will be mildly unsettled, mentioning that she had some serious deja-vu. She then will talk about how she has always hated how she got too excited about certain topics, and that caused her to isolate herself from other people. She then asks the player about Monika, and how she's changing from a sweet girl to more manipulative. But then, she will state that they are finally alone, away from "Monika's slimy tongue" and that "pathetic child", which is referring to Natsuki. Then, she will try to convince the main character to stay with her, and will seem to be overtly excited, with randomly glitching pupils. Monika's sprite will also become more revealed while her dialogue continues.
Yuri recognizes that something is wrong with her and that her comments and behavior are inappropriate, enough so to feel something bad will happen despite her happiness. She is ultimately unable to control her obsessive outbursts. It reaches a point where, after she confesses her love to the protagonist, she stabs herself to death out of over-excitement or rejection (depending on the protagonist's response to her confession, both lead to the same outcome, courtesy of Monika). Yuri's body is left decomposing for three days, and is then discovered by Natsuki, who immediately vomits and runs away. When she is discovered by Monika, both Yuri and Natsuki's files are deleted, leading to Act 3.
- On the second day of the game, Yuri describes the book she lends to the protagonist, which also happens to foreshadow the dark events that will happen in the game. However, on the second day of Act 2, her description of the book changes drastically, becoming more and more of a horror novel, much like the game itself.
- Despite having a large collection of knives, Yuri stabs herself with a large, plain kitchen knife, rather than an intricate and exotic one. Dan Salvato confirmed in a Reddit AMA that this is an artistic error.
- Yuri's file is written in Base 64. It can be decoded to a story.
- Yuri's version of the song "Okay, Everyone!" features a significantly different tone compared to the rest of the Literature Club's; it features a harp and cello to symbolize her sophisticated nature and poetic style. Her version is also noticeably more withdrawn, also reflecting her shrinking violet personality.
- Yuri suffers from frequent back pains. The protagonist assumes (or, possibly, pretends to assume) the cause to be her "bad reading posture." Previous conversations with Yuri, as well as her awkwardness leading up to his assumption, imply that it is due to her large breasts.
- A piece of evidence leads to the assumption that Yuri is one of the two characters (the other being Monika) to have a voice associated with them but also be the only character in the game not to have an explicit connection to the individual credited (Jillian Ashcraft). During Yuri's confession to the protagonist in Act 2, "
10-yuri.ogg" would play and contain giggling from a female representing Yuri's unhinged state of mind. Since the connection between the vocals, Yuri, and Ashcraft are not explicit, it cannot be determined if it was from Ashcraft or someone else releasing the sound under a free license.
- In the main menu artwork, Yuri seems to have two right feet. This is likely an artistic error.