Ayakashi Ayashi is your typical samurai monster-of-the-week anime.
The location is japan (big surprise) , time is the middle of the 19th century. That was the time when japan was in it's most isolationistic phase, when the greatest crime was being a foreigner (still a social stigma nowadays).
And japan was full of monsters. Or rather gods - you never know with japanese monsters. Anyway, the term used is Y?i which is scribbled like this: ??
Why do I show you those japanese letters ? Because one of the yoi-busters has the unique (and uniquely stupid) power of drawing out those scribbles from any living being and transforming them into a goofy looking axe, spear, whatever. This power even gets explained extensively in the series but listening to those explanations is a waste of time unless you happened to major in japanese. The feeling of awe manages to abstain when hearing that the "Prickus Dickus" (just an example, ok?) has it's origin in the word "Prick", which was much much earlier written with a character that looked like a spear held by a woman, hence the name transforms into a spear.
That's a superpower worthy of the X-Men ... ok, maybe not.
So, said dude is a 39 year old bum who once entered the other world as a child and came back, fearing and longing for it at the same time. By chance he teams up with a group of established yoi-busters: A drag-queen priest, a young tomboy, an aborigine (yeah, japan had aborigines before it was settled by korean emigrants - and even those aborigines came from korea), an aztec girl who somehow came to japan from middle-america and her talking demon horse
The rest is typical anime action. Average design, average animation, occasional humor, average plot but a pretty detailed depiction of historical japan. The whole setting is a bit xenophobic and i can't help but think that the author agrees a bit with those xenophobic tendencies.
But if you are willing to ignore those hints - after all we ignored the blatant racism found in 'Lord of the Rings', too - then you're in for a decent series which contains many historical persons, events and places (minus the monsters).
Sex & Crime: Weeell, there are whores inside, but you get the impression that their main job is giggling, drinking and applying tons of makeup. Violence is moderate - mostly monster fights. The scenes where people get hurt are very toned down. No severed limbs and such. The occasional gruesome monster victim, but thats it.