I reread the series and I feel motivated to write a mini review.
First of I noticed there's only enough story here for about 7 chapters. But that's ok, that's manga for you, it doesn't even feel stretched either, as do many manga that go on for this many chapters. The first act is about Kurokawa and Fujishiro starting to hang out and it's great. Then it goes into the second schooltrip arc that's all about Izumi and it's well done. The problem is when we get back to arc 3 it's been so long we've kinda forgotten about the main pairing. But it starts going again and it's great. Chapter 36 has so many great little payoffs that were set up earlier, it's amazing. I really like Kurokawa's inferiority complex angle, it's the main driving force behind the story (except for when act 2 forgets about it) and I thought it was executed very well. It's also an angle we don't see explorer that often, so extra points for that. It was funny though how every secret conversation and event was witnessed by an external party.
All and all, I think this series is not quite my favourite of all time, or the best of all time, but it's right under there, it is among the greats with like some Morinaga stuff etc. etc., I really really liked it, it was great.
I'm on the fence of maybe watching this show. Utena turned out to be worth watching (even though I'm dreading to finish the last 3 episode) and this show is sort-of next on my non-existent to-watch show list.