SAO Loser (SAO
On February 11, 2026 LLENN logged into Gun Gale Online for the first time in the ten days following the end of the first Squad Jam tournament. By searching through various back alley gun shops, LLENN was able to find one with a P90 in stock and immediately purchased the gun as a replacement for her original P90.
Four days later, on February 15, Kohiruimaki Karen (LLENN) invited the members of SHINC, her new friends from Gun Gale Online, to her apartment. There, the girls decided to rewatch the highlights of the tournament, using the opportunity to introduce their in-game avatars to Karen. In-between the highlights, Nitobe Saki and the other girls explained that they had chosen to play games as a way to improve their relationship with each other, as their lack of teamwork had been hindering their training for their gymnastics club.
Feeling that Gun Gale Online was entirely detached from their reality, the girls began playing the game, hoping that a shared goal and a change of scenery would help them overcome their differences. The girls soon became engrossed in the game and, through their many near-death experiences there, learnt to work together. Upon finishing her story, Saki proclaimed that their club would do their best to prepare for a possible second Squad Jam, and asked if Karen would also be participating. Karen, however, showed no desire to take part in a possible second tournament, disappointing the girls who had hoped to have another showdown with her.
Several days following SHINC's visit to her apartment, Karen returned to Hokkaido to visit her parents. There, on February 24, she met with Shinohara Miyu, her long-time friend in Hokkaido, for karaoke. At the karaoke box, the girls talked about Karen's performance at the Squad Jam tournament, including what had happened with M. Reassuring Karen that she had nothing to be concerned about as long as Karen's former partner did not have her personal information, Miyu recalled her loss to another hardcore gamer in ALfheim Online the other day, and noticed that the karaoke had a new Kanzaki Elsa song. While commenting about Elsa's temporary break from singing, Miyu loaded Elsa's new song for the karaoke.
Several weeks later, on a flight back to Tokyo, Karen received an email from Zaskar, the Gun Gale Online administrators, that a second Squad Jam tournament would be held on April 4. Having read the notice, as well as Saki's message about it, in detail on her way back to her apartment, Karen decided that she had no need to participate in the upcoming tournament. Some time later, upon entering her apartment complex, Karen was approached by a young man who introduced himself as M and requested to speak with her in private, claiming that someone would die on the night of the second Squad Jam if he did not receive her help.
Not wanting to bring the man to her own apartment, Karen led him to an observation room in the building for privacy during their conversation. After properly introducing himself as Asougi Goushi, the man immediately requested Karen's assistance to prevent Pitohui and himself from dying in real life. Goushi, thus, explained that Pitohui was planning to take part in the second Squad Jam and force him to commit suicide with her if they were to be killed in-game during the tournament.
The man elaborated that Pitohui was obsessed with death, yet, despite being a Sword Art Online beta tester, she had to reluctantly refrain from playing the game on the day its official service began due to a real life matter that was so important that it would affect the rest of her life. Thus, the girl had a grand outburst of rage when she discovered that the opportunity to take part in a death game had eluded her grasp as a result of her decision.
Although Pitohui was able to suppress her rage by focusing on her work and other virtual games, she was never able to feel satisfied by them. Thus, she suffered two relapses of her emotional outbursts: the first was when Sword Art Online was cleared and she learnt that she had missed instances of player-killing incidents in the game, followed by a second one when her real life obligations prevented her from taking part in the first Squad Jam. This was why Pitohui decided to stake her life in the upcoming Squad Jam as a way to compensate for the opportunities she had missed.
At the end of his explanation on the situation, Goushi stated that he wanted to prevent Pitohui from dying but did not want to interfere with her wishes due to his love for the girl forcing him to respect her decisions. Thus, he came to plead Karen to participate in the tournament and defeat Pitohui in proper battle during the event to fulfil the promise Karen had made with Pitohui as LLENN. Having recalled the promise, Karen agreed to participate in the tournament and defeat Pitohui.
That evening, Karen was contemplating on whom she could ask to participate in the tournament with her to be able to form a team, when she suddenly received a call from Miyu. As her friend was an experienced gamer, Karen decided that she would be the perfect person for the job. Upon Karen explaining the situation and pleading for her help, Miyu gladly accepted the opportunity to demonstrate her skills in a new game.
- Gun Gale Online
- A gun store
- Real world
- Karen's apartment
- Karaoke box
- Karen's apartment complex
- An observation room
- Karen's apartment complex
- Adapted from Gun Gale Online Volume 2, SECT.1 - SECT.4
- In the novel, LLENN purchased a new P90 after returning from her trip to Hokkaido on March 15, rather than on February 11 before she left to Hokkaido.
- LLENN did not encounter Eva in Gun Gale Online after purchasing a new weapon in the novel.
- Context on how the members of SHINC were invited to Karen's home was omitted. Karen had encountered the girls on numerous occasions since they first discovered each other's identities. However, as their conversations grew in length despite their schedules not allowing them to speak for prolonged periods during such encounters, Karen eventually invited the girls to visit her home, as it was in the area. As Karen had not put much thought in her offer, she began worrying that her offer might have come a little too soon for the girls, but, to her surprise, all of them were quite eager to visit her.
- The anime omitted context on how Karen and the members of SHINC decided to rewatch scenes from the Squad Jam.
- The dialogue during the scene where Karen and the girls were watching LLENN's fight against the pros until the part where Saki remarked about being impressed each time she viewed the clip was entirely different from the novel. Additionally, the girls had rewatched the scene at least twice by the time of the dialogue.
- The scene where SHINC's truck was displayed on TV and Karen commented on their vehicle was omitted.
- The reference to a game that SHINC had played before Gun Gale Online was omitted.
- The anime does not mention that SHINC had formed a proper Squadron in Gun Gale Online before taking part in the Squad Jam.
- In the novel, after the members of SHINC explained how they began playing GGO, the girls requested Karen to rewatch the remainder of the scenes and to provide comments on them. The commentary was omitted in the anime.
- Karen's recollection of a short message she had received from Pitohui after the tournament, with no followup messages since then, was omitted.
- The anime does not mention that Karen and the girls from SHINC discussed a variety of topics, including Karen's height complex, how she came to play Gun Gale Online, Karen's P90 air gun, their real life hobbies, and Kanzaki Elsa, after finishing their conversation about GGO.
- Karen's final conversation with Saki and the others did not take place outside her apartment in the novel.
- Karen's visit to her parents' home and her parents' shock at seeing Karen's short hair were not shown. This scene was replaced with Miyu's comments about what the reaction of her parents must have been.
- Karen met with Miyu at her parents' home before the two went to a karaoke box, rather than meeting each other at the karaoke box itself, in the novel.
- Background on Miyu and her in-game avatar was omitted.
- In the novel, Yuuki was referenced as a person who had offered an eleven-hit Original Sword Skill to anyone who could beat her, rather than being referred to by her nickname.
- Miyu did not mention having personally fought against Yuuki in the novel.
- The fact that Miyu's guild had acquired a cabin of their own that she could use to store her gear in case she ever wanted to temporarily convert to a different game was not mentioned in the anime.
- In the novel, Karen received the email from Zaskar while still in Hokkaido, eleven days before she returned to Tokyo, rather than on the flight itself.
- The scene of Goushi stalking Karen from a multi-storey car park, as well as in Gun Gale Online, was skipped.
- In the novel, Goushi approached Karen after stalking her around town while she went for a walk the day after she returned from Hokkaido, rather than approaching her as soon as she returned from Hokkaido. Additionally, as Karen noticed that Goushi had been following her, she did not enter her apartment complex, fearing this would allow her stalker to discover where she lived. Goushi called Karen by name while she was contemplating what action to take, rather than after entering her apartment complex.
- Pitohui's lecture to LLENN on not sharing private details online, as well as Karen's thoughts on the details that allowed her and the SHINC members to identify each other, were omitted.
- In the novel, Goushi explained the origin of his real name when he introduced himself.
- When Goushi mentioned that Pitohui was forming a team, in the novel, Karen initially thought that Goushi had come to request that she join their team so that it could avoid the preliminaries, before dismissing that idea.
- Goushi's explanation on what a beta test is, as well as Karen's recollection that Miyu had once said she would have played SAO on day one if she had the chance, were omitted.
- The anime does not mention that Pitohui inflicted injury upon herself, as well as causing Goushi to break three of his ribs and fingers when he tried to stop her, the moment she discovered that she missed an opportunity to take part in a death game. Other references about Pitohui inflicting injury upon Goushi were also omitted.
- In the novel, Goushi did not immediately reference the promise Karen had made with Pitohui as LLENN. Instead, Karen herself demanded to know how killing Pitohui in-game would help prevent her suicide, which prompted Goushi to explain about the promise. However, the explanation itself was done offstage, leaving Goushi's plan a secret to the readers at that point of the story.
- The scene of Karen's niece and elder sister entering the room after Goushi had left, and inviting her to go skiing was omitted.
- Karen contemplating the idea of looking for strangers in Gun Gale Online to form a team with was not included in the anime.
- The novel did not mention that Miyu was taking a bath when she called Karen.
- Saki's message on Karen's phone showed "オフィシャルメッセージ" (official message), but Saki's voice actress read it as "メール" (email) instead.