Angelic Layer, Chap. 3: Do Angels Dream of Electric Sheep?

I always liked this chapter, because a small gag in it became a big joke between my friends and me. It also explains a lot about how the game Angelic Layer actually works.

Under the guidance of her mentor, Misaki learns how to control Hikaru’s movements. I wouldn’t admit it when I was reading this in junior high, but I really hoped that Hikaru would become a real character who would bond with Misaki. But Hikaru doesn’t magically come to life when Misaki is practicing, she never speaks, and Misaki is totally in control of Hikaru. Misaki loves Hikaru, but in the end, Hikaru’s just a doll, and the love Misaki has for her only goes in one direction.

That’s a little sad.

Icchan, Misaki’s mentor, teaches her the basics of how Angelic Layer works. The angel has a special cord, and the angel’s owner, or “deus”,  wears a special headset. These allow the deus to send her thoughts to her angel and tell it how to move.

Wait.

Did I just read that right?

In this world, there is a machine that can read minds. And you’re wasting it on toys?! Of course it would be amazing if you had a toy that moved just by thinking it. But why is that the only way this technology ever gets used? 

Why is this series about a tournament? If I had a machine that could read minds, I sure as hell wouldn’t waste it on a game.

Okay, I actually might. But I’ll be damned if technology like that exists and it’s not used by the government or military. Man, this series would be so much cooler if it were about Misaki using her toys to become an international super-spy, or something.

There were so many good storytelling possibilities here, and they all ended up wasted so we could watch a twelve-year-old become a champion in a game that doesn’t exist in real life.

Remember when I said that Angelic Layer wasn’t the type of manga I’d pick up today? Yeah.

After a couple hours of practice, Icchan decides that Misaki’s ready for some real Angelic Layer. She joins a walk-on competition and makes a fool of herself at first. With a burst of inspiration from her new-found friends, though, Misaki wins her first fight; a promising start to her career as a deus.

I like Misaki because she’s sweet, because she’s a small girl who finds her courage and self-confidence doing what she loves.

So, exactly the opposite of who I was in junior high.

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