Here's part of a review by Bill Sherman:
It took me a while to key into Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto. The first time I read the opening chapter of his saga in the second issue of the monthly Shonen Jump magazine, I was not particularly impressed. Ninja action? A young boy hero who yearns to be the best at what he does? Could there be more generic shonen manga material? I quickly started skipping Naruto's adventures in the mangazine, concentrating on "One Piece" and "Yu Yu Hakisho" instead.
Yet Uzumaki Naruto, the showy mouthed spud, refused to be ignored. Undeterred by my indifference, the character developed his own avid American fan base, bolstered by the appearance of a popular animé adaptation on The Cartoon Network. Paperback collections of his adventures started topping the Publisher's Weekly sales charts - monstrous the tar out of high-profile American event comics collections.