I think that's exactly it too. I believe it's more of a "it's hard to break new ground" problem with romance as I think its not as broad of a genre as shonen or seinen. With romance it's main focus will always be romance, and there is really only so much you can do with that because if you add too much of anything else, you'll probably end up writing in more of the direction of another genre.
And when you first mentioned romance, I honestly thought of Clannad first. It is absolutely a work of art. I watched the anime first, and then I played the visual novel and I tell you what, they did a hell of a job on making that a classy series that stayed away from feeling like a harem or ecchi.
Whoa, my favorite Beck albums are Mutations, Sea Change, and Modern Guilt! 2 out of 3 haha.
And Bakuman is the first manga that I've binge read in a long time myself. And I was just talking to someone about romance in manga. Like how I mainly read Shonen or Seinen series, but it's those romances between the action that really drive the characters for me.
Yeah that's the thing, it was almost like Mashiro didn't even care for Takagi that much, he kind of wanted left alone until Takagi pushed him towards his dream. Then they just have a very natural progression in their friendship. And the moment when they almost split but are still pulled together, it's so well written.
And I hear that hunt for new stuff. Sometimes I just feel like looking for something really different. I'm a huge fan of Beck, his music is always changing and evolving.