In this anime, I recall there being little people (toy dolls, perhaps) that could be bought in stores. If you put on a certain headset, you could move them around and play with them. There were competitions that you could enter these dolls in.

The main character is a girl, who has friends who enter the dolls in competitions. In addition, there is a male character (who may have had black hair, though I'm not certain). He enjoyed reading, and in either the opening or ending song, he could be seen falling asleep on his books.

What is the name of this anime?

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This is Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer

12-year-old Misaki Suzuhara has just gotten involved in Angelic Layer, a battling game using electronic dolls called angels. Even as a newbie, Misaki shows advanced skills as she meets new friends and enters Angelic Layer tournaments to fight the greatest Angelic Layer champions of the nation.

Below is are 2 pages from chapter 3 of the manga showing the head set and how the doll can be controlled when the player wears the headset:

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