I’m curious as to why Cupid needed to “bring him a cute brother.”
I may be a baby BL fan, but I’ve consumed quite a lot of BL media with brocon—a lot of people like it (no kink-shaming). And it’s pretty fascinating to see how these series unfold, until they become horribly rape-y and even end up justifying the ‘need’ for these sequences. I have so many manga, manhwa and shows to call out for my fear of brocon-adjacent media in general (I’m looking at you, Samenai Yume).
Luckily for me, Precise Shot did not turn out that way, despite taglines like “Cupid brings me a cute brother!” and “Not brother but lover” on Yoyo English Channel (yes, these are official tags). In fact, it turns out that I had nothing to worry about, because the whole show screamed ‘wholesomeness’, except for a few things here and there.
Adapted from Shen Shen Jun’s BL manhua “Aiming at You”, Precise Shot revolves around the sport of shooting, renting brothers, and bullying, among other things. There are 20 episodes in this series, each 5 minutes long. We are introduced to Shao Yiyou (Wen Yifan), one of the main leads, taking a shower (also to be read as fanservice) after his shooting practice. The other lead character, Shao Yiliang (Xia Zhiyuan), enters the men’s locker room looking for “son”—the name that was given by Yiyou’s father for the takeout he’d ordered. What ensues is a hilarious and embarrassing encounter between the two, with Yiyou’s teammates trying to pick a fight with Yiliang, and Yiyou putting a stop to it.
In a surprising turn of events, Yiyou’s father, a former Olympic shooter, hires Yiliang to be his love child to help his son get over his pre-competition nerves (and reveals an almost incomprehensible reason for doing so later on in the series). It’s even more hilarious because it also turns out that both of them have the same surname in spite of not really being related in any way. Yiliang is pretty much willing to fulfil his role on one condition—the greater the number of demands, the higher the pay.
Much to Yiyou’s chagrin, Yiliang moves in with them. The real ‘bromance’ starts mostly after this; we get to see these two brothers bickering randomly, whether it’s at home, shooting practice, or at competitions. Yiliang proves to be an excellent marksman, which earns him a spot on the team, and also leads to their adorkable teammate Xu Yuan becoming his frenemy throughout the series—it may also be because of a shared love interest, but that’s just speculation.
The bromance scenes seem to be very few and far between, most likely because of the short length of the episodes (and Chinese censorship, as usual) which makes the portrayal of any kind of romance between the main leads a lot more difficult. However, there are some adorable scenes that tell us that they are definitely falling in love with each other—from Yiyou’s “Why does he have to be my brother” in response to his growing feelings for Yiliang, to the latter being jealous of anyone who’s close to the former. The introduction of characters like Nanting, Yiyou’s childhood friend who’s hell-bent on exposing Yiliang’s true identity, and Mu Zhaohua, Yiyou’s senior who can provide him with a direct entry into the shooting preliminaries and thus, threatens to separate the two ‘brothers’ for a long time, seem to be interesting ways used to tell us that there’s something more between the two.
There are quite a few things that I found myself irked by as I continued watching the show, the least of it being the messed-up reason Yiyou’s father hired Shao Yiliang to be his illegitimate son in the name of psychological ‘healing’. The issue of bullying was brought up and subsequently forgotten. It was barely addressed by Yiliang’s altercation with Chen Mu, Yiyou’s former teammate who bullied him incessantly and also kept pictures of these events to unsettle Yiyou just moments before his shooting matches. Nanting’s horribly public—and embarrassing—way of exposing Yiliang seemed a little too much as well. In addition to this, the series appeared to be more of an advertisement for oral care products, with random product placements taking up more space in the series than the plot itself.
As a whole, the series is an endearing one, with Yiliang’s ridiculous antics, the reasons why he wanted to earn money, the changes in Yiyou’s personality, and the like trying to pull the audience in. It’s too bad that the episodes were too short, and censorship (along with product endorsement) seemed to take away from all the fluff we’d expected when we watched “Not Brother But Lover,” a cover of Taylor Swift’s “Lover” that they’d released along with the series. However, it was cute despite the various issues it had, and it’s something you can watch in one sitting without worrying about time all that much.