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In the Wild Wild West, where the strong make the rules...

Lies of the Sheriff Evans: Dead or Love is a Comedy/Adventure/Romance manga by Mizuki Kuriyama, published in Shounen Sunday.

It follows Elmore Evans, The Sheriff of Markwest during the days of the Wild West. An excellent gunslinger, a dedicated lawman, and one of the most stoic men in the West, Evans seems like the perfect sheriff.

On the outside.

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In reality, he became a gunslinger and a sheriff for the sole purpose of becoming popular with women. With the help of his legitimately amazing gunslinging, excellent poker-face, and his near-perfect memory of his father's advice on women, he has, for the most part, completely failed.

The series details his life, from his bad luck with women, to various outlaws he's had to deal with, to various misunderstandings he's gotten into.

Along for the ride are his rival/love interest, the Bounty Hunter Phoebe Oakleynote , who is just as bad as Evans when it comes to romance and his deputy Ted Hall, who pretty much worships Evans (and has no idea how much of the Evans he knows is an act). Other characters include Kurt, Evans' father and source of his life philosophy, Matthew James, an ex-vigilante that's Evans' polar opposite (and way more successful with girls) and Melissa Rain, a newspaper reporter who always seems to get the facts wrong when dealing with Evans.

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Lies of the Sheriff Evans contains examples of following tropes:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Matthew James' fans are as in love with him as obnoxiously protective, to the point they'll bad mouth Evans at first sight or insult Oakley to defend Matt (who's visibly annoyed by their attitude, take note).
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Chapter 128 sees Evans and Abby have a drink with the mayor as they try to convince him to let a trade road be shut down to help them catch some outlaws. Abby has initial misgivings, but drinks anyway out of fear of looking picky...and then clearly enjoys drinking far too much. She proceeds to cry a bit about how worried she always is about being self-conscious, defend the mayor from a kidnapper by holding the attacker by his legs and spinning him around her until she lets him go, and pester the mayor until he agrees to give his permission. Evans doesn't have the heart to tell her what exactly happened.
    • Abby gets up to it again in Chapter 131, drinking herself into a nap while supposed to be bodyguarding the mayor and then waking up, deflating the situation with the mayor, Evans and Belle by repeatedly patting the mayor on the head and demanding he talk to Belle why he's blockading the road (Belle just awkwardly leaves after this).
  • Amusing Injuries: Averted in Chapter 111 which sees Quaid and Evans having been hurt...from hitting their faces into a bridge trying to stare under a woman's dress while their horses were passing under the bridge she was standing on. Amusingness aside, it wasn't something to just brush off and they were already getting checked out by a doctor before the injuring was shown within the chapter.
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  • Anachronism Stew: Pornography might be nearly as old as human art itself, but some of the covers of Evans' porn display the title of Playboy or depict a Playboy Bunny on it, neither of which date before 1953 while Lies of the Sheriff Evans: Dead or Love's wild west setting can't be absolutely any later than 1924 at the most.
  • Art Shift: Inside the Proof of Fraud storyline, Oakley's affection for Evans and managing to trick herself into thinking a Love Potion works is represented by him frequently drawn in a distinctly Shoujo-style in some of the chapters' panels, with larger pupils, a sharper face, and Bishie Sparkles.
  • Badass Bystander: Chapter 137 has Oakley trying to draw out an assassination attempt by Silent Arnolda against her while on a train in the hopes that Evans seeing it will make him worry and insist on keeping close to her, who ends up taking a woman hostage while Oakley runs from her. Oakley quickly recants on risking the passengers in the train to try to draw the conflict out, but while she's deciding this, three other passengers already came up from behind Silent Arnolda and incapacitated her.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Evans claimed that his right arm was weakened from a previous injury (that was really just him hurting his pinky so he played it up). He promptly gets into a fight from an escaping crook that has him monotonically expressing his pain while still struggling without any issue.
  • Between My Legs: Used once for Chapter 78's cover. Evans' gun-drawn approach toward the camera makes the scene resemble a duel with the woman, though it's actually implying the chapter's plot, which is Evans trying to look under the woman's skirt due to suspecting she could be stashing a stolen ring under there...and because it's a convenient excuse for him wanting to look under her skirt.
  • Birds of a Feather: What Evans and Oakley actually are, even if both can't act properly about that. While he's always looking for a pretty date, Evans will always stop to help Oakley in some way, even if it's by a total fluke (and generally is). By her part, Oakley takes any chance to show she's his "rival", but ends up helping Evans in a way or other. None of them have the guts to call the other to a date.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: The staple method for gunfights ending in the series. It's a shonen manga, so people weren't going to graphically die from gunshots.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: The volume 9 omake shows that Evans slept in and was late for his duel in Chapter 109 because...he stayed up all night trying to think of a good plan to make his victory magnificent and show off to Oakley. This tardiness ends up causing Oakley to doubt him the entire time as much as he tries to pass off arriving late as intentional.
    • Chapter 110 has a similar result, with Evans being dismayed with a man flourishing his gun spinning it around on his hand garnering a lot of attention around a shooting competition. Evans trains to do so as well, but drops his gun trying to spin the same on the actual duel and manages to pass it off as an intentional handicap that he'll win regardless of which intimidates his opponent to surrender...only Oakley was really more interested in watching an actual duel and didn't care for the other guy's spinning.
  • The Cavalry: The US Cavalry show up to save the day during the train arc. The reason why they showed up also ends up being important: Mathy's father called for them to help, and personally accompanied them, boarding the train and facing off against Evans (who he thought was a kidnapper, and vice versa), proving that he really does care about Mathy (who took his refusal to pay the ransom as a sign she's less important to him than money).
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Elmore Evans literally became a gunslinging sheriff in the expectation it would make him popular with women. Unfortunately, that has not come to pass as he presents himself off so chivalrously that even if he does have a chance with one, he blows it by acting disinterested in the topic if he's just not terribly unlucky otherwise. He makes do with occasionally desperately trying to steal a glance at a pretty lady whenever he can.
    • His father Kurt, raised him in his image. He literally left to wander as "a nameless gunslinger" after his son grew up to pull the same schtick of trying to look cool, though he actually succeeds in being rewarded for his chivalry, managed to get married, and had a date with Abby.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Matthew James is goddamn covered in women, with at least twenty standing outside when he asks to speak with Evans in his abode but Evans requests some privacy. He still fails to realize a love potion might not actually work just because a bunch of women in a crowd are raising their hands to express an interest in him. We can only assume he thinks all of those women just sympathize with his unjust exile from his town and his determination to take down his corrupt former vigilante corps.
  • Cool Old Guy: Kurt Evans taught his son everything he knows and lives by, and he's clearly an appropriate man to base the image that Evans' cultivates off of...but he actually can score with ladies, and got married.
  • Dandere: Nona is never actually see talking - at most, she appeared to be cheering among a crowd surprising Evans for his birthday - but she frequently whispers in people's ears, mostly to Ted for him to say what she said.
  • Everyone Can See It: Not everyone per se, but on several occasions others have pointed out how obvious Oakley's feelings for Evans are or even that they look like a couple. Even criminals that they've just caught, including the two's first appearance together, who aren't even necessarily trying to distract them to escape!
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Someone impersonates Evans to build himself a harem while constantly wearing a bandana mask. After the real Evans takes him down, he finds that the guy actually really looks a lot like him, and then convinces the imposter to apologize and show his face to all of the girls. Unfortunately, the imposter showing his face utterly infuriates the women as failing to live up their image of Elmore Evans and the real Evans decides he's be better off leaving instead of trying to swoop in.
    • Evans and Ted help escort a woman home late at night (which is, naturally, totally just because Evans is hoping to get in her good graces). She's initially worried that they're just imposter lawmen, and after they tell her who they are, she remains in disbelief that the Evans before her could really be the Evans that she's heard so much about.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Subverted with Reuben Wayne, the sheriff who Evans was a deputy for. He's as much of a self-important braggard that sadly tries to shine some of Evans' fame off onto him as a man who can still Dual Wield Quick Draw can be. The narration calls him Evans' anti-teacher.
  • Face of a Thug: Deputy US Marshal Abby Earp, while attractive, permanently looks like she's angry or glaring, resulting in her being incredibly self-conscious. Evans, being Evans, doesn't notice and planned to ask her out. His father ends up beating him to the punch.
  • Failure Is the Only Option: Every woman who Evans has a chance with will be either rebuffed by his stoic demeanor, turn out to be a criminal, or otherwise turn out to be unavailable to him for whatever reason. And his porn will always end up destroyed.
  • "Fawlty Towers" Plot: A man wants to duel Evans, but is also hoping to be able to charge spectators for it. It turns out no one would because everyone just expects Evans to win. So then Evans decides to tell some tripe to Oakley that he's actually lost to this man before, who arrives to corroborate and add his own spin on the background for why they dueled. This gets more and more convoluted until somehow Evans decides the way to Maintain the Lie was claiming their last "duel" was a chess match, which no one really ends up wanting to watch anyway (and they both are no good at chess). At least Oakley offers to actually teach him how to play chess sometime as a silver lining to Evans.
  • Foil: Quaid is pretty much just a less experienced, less reserved, and a bit less scrupulous version Evans since they're both working in law enforcement in the hopes of getting ladies.
  • Forgotten Anniversary: Chapter 112 shows Evans getting his father flowers every year on the same day...because five years ago, said father forgot about his marriage's anniversary and got a ferocious slap.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Ted wholeheartedly believes everything Evans does makes sense in some way and is for the best. Fortunately for his worldview, events never manage to prove otherwise to him despite Evans not being that great.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: For all his fanboying, Ted is actually a very competent deputy, not rarely even more deductive and inquisitive than Evans or other characters. Many cases are solved by his detective skills.
    • He can actually get a girlfriend unlike Evans.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Parodied, Evans injures his pinky on his right hand in Chapter 107. A gang hears he's not around because of this and gathers to burn down his office. He hopes to Exploit it to surprise and amaze by claiming to everyone that he's actually left-handed (while he's skilled at shooting enough to shoot ambidextrously)...but him just showing up causes the gang to flee without ever drawing his gun despite having an arm in a sling.
  • Identical Stranger: While there is a significant age difference between the two, Mathy Bridges looks extremely similar to Oakley, to the point where she can easily pass as her daughter.
    • An imposter of Evans constantly wears a bandana as a mask, but turns out to look so much like the real Evans with it off that the reveal shocks both Evans and Oakley.
    • A woman who's The Matchmaker in town tries to find Evans a lady. He decides to reluctantly accept with the stringent criteria describing a woman that pretty clearly is Phoebe Oakley. And yes, then The Matchmaker woman manages to find another woman that also fulfills the criteria he gave anyway.
  • Imagine Spot: Realizing an Invincible Hero's a bit boring in Chapter 113, Evans tries to play up an upcoming duel opponent as someone he lost to before to Oakley. Hearing her affirmative response to this statement has a panel with him literally imagining himself pulling her out of water by a fishing rod with the line in her mouth and her limbs sticking close toward her as if she were a fish.
  • Last-Name Basis: Very few people refer to Evans or Oakley by their first names.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator spends more time pointing out lies and making fun of the characters than they do actually narrating.
  • Living Lie Detector: Nona claims to be very good at sniffing out lies. That almost makes her a Hilarity Ensues button around Evans' virtually compulsive lying to present himself and Oakley's barely concealed feelings for Evans.
  • Love Potion: Happens twice, and both are nothing but bunk. The first time in Chapter 69 has Evans prove it's nothing but snake oil while hoping it actually worked and Oakley secretly wasted her money on it. The second time has them both take it and Oakley convinces herself it works while Evans figures he can still manipulate his situation with Oakley to his advantage even if the things don't work, and later on tries to keep a hold of some of these useless Love Potions.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: With shades of Poor Communication Kills. This whole manga in a nutshell. Evans' problems in general are pretty much caused by his terrible communication and comprehension abilities, aggravated by his almost perfect poker-face which makes him hard to read and an unwillingness to risk his cool reputation by asking twice. Oakley herself isn't better at being honest, though she's not quite as talented at being stony-faced. Luckily, depending on the situation, Evans can pull out a win, as improbable as it could be.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Evans and Oakley take shelter in an abandoned house with rather scary decor along with rather spooky noises and occurrences. Turns out the noises and occurrences were just from a crook hiding out there and trying to escape through a window when he realized they were there. But his presence doesn't explain why he asked them about maniacal laughter through the night prior...
  • Meaningful Name: Silent Arnolda is indeed entirely silent, though this clashes with how she humorously proves herself to be an absolute klutz of an assassin and makes her more of The Silent Bob rather than The Stoic (for example, her hopping around clutching her leg in pain as she accidentally kicked a seat...but wordlessly).
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Melissa believes that Evans was in a relationship with Miranda Kelly, a famous actress. When she runs into Evans again, he and Oakley are Undercover as Lovers, claiming that they are a couple who have been married for over a decade with a ten-year-old daughter. This leads her to believe that he was having an affair with Miranda.
  • Nobody Can Die: Despite some criminals having committed murder, the reoccurring bounty hunter Ed Williams being famous for preferring to turn his bounties in dead, and of course actual western gunfights happening, no one ever dies in the series. Evans has managed at times to get people to turn themselves in peacefully, and otherwise our protagonists prefer just Blasting It Out of Their Hands, or more rarely will disarm them with shots to the arm that leave enemies clearly bleeding and clutching, but always alive to be apprehended. The closest to a death the manga gets is in chapter 41, which maybe sees a U.S. Army Cavalryman shoot a bandit off a horse with possibly blood coming off of him as he falls off, while almost entirely obscuring the falling bandit aside from his leg to make it quite difficult to tell if the bandit really was killed/mortally wounded.
  • No Longer with Us: Due to a combination of Evans' normal methods of communication and not being properly introduced to him when she did see him, Oakley gets the mistaken idea that Kurt Evans has passed away when his son was just getting him flowers to give for his anniversary which he'd better not forget again.
  • No Name Given: Parodied. Kurt Evans, Elmore's father, left when Evans grew up, saying he was planning to become a wandering, nameless gunslinger in order to impress women. When they next meet, he is going by "Kurt the Nameless". Oakley notes that Kurt is a name.
  • Not So Different: Just done for a simple joke in Volume 7's omakes - Nona might be able to see through Evans' lies unlike Oakley and actually get together with her love interest, but even she, like Oakley, also collected any bounty posters she could find with her infatuation on them.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: Abby being a Perpetual Frowner has made her very self-conscious (she'll immediately worry she's dirty or smelly if someone doesn't return a social greeting, and even bothers to explain one of a rickety rope bridge's steps breaking under her foot being totally not because of her weight), but she's plenty pretty enough for the Evans men to be attracted to her no problem.
  • Oblivious to Love: Evans and Oakley are equally incapable of realizing the other's feelings for them. They're internally very hopeful, but they never get completely certain.
  • Once per Episode: Evans' father, Kurt, appearing in Evans' head as he recounts some sage wisdom from his father is virtually a guarantee for each chapter. The advice varies from being just what he needs to make it through the chapter's events to turning out to unluckily mess up his chances with a woman.
  • Placebo Effect: Evans and Oakley both test out a Love Potion by drinking it. Needless to say, it's a load of crock but they think it actually works because they already can barely conceal their interest in each other.
  • Quick Draw: Lots of people can do it to Improbable Aiming Skills levels. Evans, Oakley, Kurt and even the braggard Wayne are pretty good at this.
  • Really Gets Around: Celia Izzo. An omake has her arrive to answer a summons from a man who cheated with her, and with three men in the midst of them, she has to ask which one of them could it ever be, claiming to forget men's names and looks pretty quickly. Her initial appearance has her meeting with Evans and assuming he was another sheriff she slept with before when he has never seen her before in his life.
  • Rivalry as Courtship: Evans and Oakley have been rivals since they were young, with Evans eking out a win over her at a shooting competition. She continued to be just behind him later in life with regards to arrests as a bounty hunter against his sheriff occupation...until they later considered the possibility that the other might have feelings for them which they'd be OK with. Not that they'll say so and drop their facade of a rivalry from it.
  • Secret Diary: Evans has a secret book that contains all of the advice his father ever told him which would clearly portray his internal preoccupation with attracting women. He doesn't need it since he's pretty much memorized it all, mind you, he just kept it as a good luck charm. Fortunately for him, Oakley assumes it's something far more dangerous when she gets a hold of it among some criminals and burns it.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Evans' father, Kurt, is never seen without a smoking pipe for his scenes in the present day. Apparently, he passed his gunslinging knowledge down to Evans for the venal purpose of his wife allowing him to smoke freely.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Evans and Oakley both exhibit a Downplayed version of this, doing stuff that'd definitely be a bit weird to declare out loud (such as taking every excuse they can get to be around each other longer, or trying to get pictures of one another) while never coming clean about their romantic hopes toward the other, though Oakley is probably the more likely of the two to be doing something like this. Fortunately, neither ever manage to make the other one uncomfortable due to their actions through a combination of managing to hide it well and of course the other secretly hoping they were in love with them anyway.
  • Truth in Television: Evans claimed to have been intentionally late to a duel in Chapter 109 to mess with the opponent's concentration, "a tried technique from a far eastern island nation". This doubtlessly refers to a trademark strategy of Miyamoto Musashi.
  • Undercover as Lovers: Evans and Oakley pretend to be husband and wife during the train arc, in order to smuggle Mathy Bridges, the kidnapped daughter of a banker, past the kidnappers checking every passenger getting on the train, by pretending she's their daughter. The irony is that both Evans and Oakley secretly enjoyed to be "married", even for a few hours.
  • The Un-Smile: Thanks to her resting scowl, when Abby Earp tries to put someone at ease by smiling, it just looks like she's plotting to kill them.
    • Unable to keep his composure while Oakley's holding onto him as he's getting exhausted while she tries to carefully aim at a running baddie, he follows his father's advice to flash a smile...an utterly horrifying smile that causes the running perp to freak out and trip at the sight of it.
  • The Western: If The Hero who was The Sheriff also constantly lied through his teeth to make himself look cool and had a hilarious Will They or Won't They? thing going on the best Bounty Hunter around.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Evans and Oakley clearly have a thing for each other, which is clear to people with working eyes, but Evans' constant stoic sheriff facade and Oakley's ostensible rivalry with him prevent either from being honest about it. They make do by making some excuse to stick around each other as much as they can get and maybe the odd sorta-stalking the other for pictures.
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