To me, Parasyte’s approach and thoughts on altruism is the most interesting part of the whole story. Just in case your eyeballs fell out of your sockets when Migi was going through its explanation and you now can’t be arsed to google, altruism is simply the concern for the welfare of others (it’s something right wing politicians don’t have doh ho ho). Specifically the moment in this episode that I find the most important is why it was our main character decided to help the kid being beat up. It wasn’t from some innate desire to help him. It was because he wanted to assert his own humanity. If he didn’t, he couldn’t be sure that he was still who he thought he was. Which may not even be true since he was a huge wuss beforehand. To him being a human and being Good in his eyes is the most important part.
Think about your typical hero character. He runs around saving people. Why? Because that’s just what they do. They’re just Nice People who save because…well because saving people is the right thing to do. They don’t have to think about it otherwise. Shinichi is different in that he doesn’t go out of his way to save people because he thinks that’s the right thing to do. He does it because he does not want to be the monster. He doesn’t want to be one of the Parasytes that don’t think about the welfare of either humans or other Parasytes. The belief that he can be doing bad things and thinking bad thoughts is what pushes him to try help people, even when it’s far beyond his ability to do so. It’s why I actually do quite like his character despite his starting point as a Yuji Everylead the Bland. That’s part of why I like that they made him much wimpier in the anime version because it makes that change so more obvious. If anything I wish they went further with it. A scene where he doesn’t help someone or not want to get involved would have been nice. But hey, we got dickhand so I can hardly complain.
On lighter topics, this scene was pretty great for the very polite rejection. No “kyaa you hentai” or furious blushing on her part or any comical grope-handing. Just a rejection, with Migi providing some colour commentary. Now cue him going online onto a bodybuilding forum and saying “urgh the bitch didn’t put out, why do girls never like nice guys like me”.