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Fan Letter (ファンレター, Fan Retā?) is the third episode of the Sword Art Online Alternative "Gun Gale Online" anime adaptation, as well as the third episode of the 1st Squad Jam story. It aired on April 21, 2018.
Following Pitohui's introduction of what the term "Squad Jam" meant, LLENN and Pitohui left the saloon and departed to the fields outside of town. While setting up a trap for a local monster, Pitohui explained that two players had formed an alliance during the third Bullet of Bullets tournament in the game, and their teamwork was so exciting to watch that it inspired the creation of Squad Jam, a team-based competition.
Upon finishing her explanation on the background for the tournament, Pitohui moved to her intended main topic - urging LLENN to take part in the competition by forming a team with one of her acquaintances, as she herself would be unable to participate that day. As LLENN had her reservations about participating in a team battle with only a two-member team, Pitohui voiced her observation that something seemed to be bothering LLENN in the real world, and thus offered using the Squad Jam to vent her frustrations.
Some time later, back in the real world, Kohiruimaki Karen called her friend, Shinohara Miyu, for advice on the matter. While Miyu recommended taking the opportunity to have fun, she then remembered that Kanzaki Elsa's concert would be taking place that day. As the two girls were planning to go to the concert if they managed to acquire tickets but Miyu claimed that her odds of getting the tickets were fifty-fifty, Karen decided to entrust her decision to fate and register for the Squad Jam if Miyu did not manage to get tickets for the concert.
The next Tuesday, on January 27, 2026, the day before the deadline for registrations to the Squad Jam tournament, after passing by a group of girls and becoming annoyed when she heard them call her tall, Karen received a call from Miyu. As her friend informed her that she was unable to obtain the concert tickets, Karen decided to participate in Squad Jam.
Three days later, on January 30, LLENN met with Pitohui at a saloon to discuss about the tournament that would be taking place two days later, as well as meet the person she would be teamed with. After the two girls discussed some of the rules of the tournament and how to make use of them, Pitohui's acquaintance, a large man named M, came into their private room. Once LLENN's new partner was introduced, Pitohui excused herself due to having errands to attend to, leaving LLENN and M alone.
As Pitohui had not explained the reason for the two meeting with each other that day, M revealed that he wished ascertain LLENN's combat skills. Thus, he took her to a training field to have her undertake various combat readiness tests to evaluate her capabilities. At the end of his tests, M showed his gear to LLENN and taught her how to use his pistol, including how to activate the safety, in case such a need arose at some point.
The following day, upset about Elsa holding her concerts at small venues, Karen suddenly decided to write a fan letter to her favourite singer. In her letter, Karen wrote about her complex regarding her height, which robbed her of her courage and prevented her from making new friends. She also wrote about her coming to play virtual reality games, thinking that she could improve her social skills by playing with an avatar different from her real appearance. After describing the appearance of her in-game avatar and the world she started playing in, Karen closed her letter by asking Elsa to choose a bigger venue for her next concerts, before signing it with her name and address.
On the day of the tournament, M shared with LLENN the fact that he had received a letter from Pitohui, urging him to win the tournament, to which he had responded that he would do his best but would possibly surrender if his partner were killed. Just as M finished his speech on a lighter note by offering LLENN to enjoy the battles to come and see how far they could go, the appointed time for the tournament preparations began and the two were teleported to a standby room. During the ten minutes they had before the competition began, M offered his knife to LLENN as a spare weapon, in case she became unable to use her main weapon, and taught her the most efficient ways of using it. At the end of M's lecture, the two prepared to enter the battlefield.
- Adapted from Gun Gale Online Volume 1, SECT.3 - SECT.5