What it’s about: Alien landings are now an everyday occurrence. Rather than inspiring horror in the populace, they’re treated with a tolerant annoyance and captured for their own safety. To this end, Yuri’s elementary school class have nominated her to be on the “alien party”, responsible for tidying up after the falling spaceships. There’s only one problem: Yuri is terrified of aliens.
Why you should watch it: The show is quite seriously screwed up in a subtle way. On the surface it’s a setup for a quirky saccharine school comedy, complete with cutesy animation and character designs. But once you get past that, everything is just quietly *wrong*. Everyone from the teachers on down seem completely blase about the eldritch horrors that invade their planet every week, and scold Yuri for her cowardice in a genuinely terrifying situation. People disappear, or are possessed, and nobody cares. The juxtaposition of horror and brutal violence against school slice-of-life makes the show quite unique.
Caveats: It’s a four-part OVA that was intended from the start to act more as an advertisement for the source material than a standalone work. The protagonist is a genuinely terrified, crying child, so don’t expect much int he way of heroics.
Themes: The loss of innocence, and the way in which parents and teachers often force children into growing up too quickly without even realising it.
Similar works: I’ll say Neon Genesis Evangelion tentatively, since this is nowhere near as in-depth as that, though the protagonists are similar on a surface level. Narutaru is probably the closest.