To be honest, I'm quite sure the only people who would hate this show before it aired would be those who haven't seen any Gundams except SEED and 00.
How old was Amuro when he got into his first Mobile Suit? He was 15. How old is Uso, the protagonist of Victory Gundam (the darkest Gundam series in history)? That's right - he was 13. News flash - that means he was younger than Flit, the 'kiddie' protagonist of Gundam AGE - aged at 14. Just because the character designs are more oriented towards the younger demographic doesn't mean anything has changed.
Again - Gunam 00's Setsuna is a big exception - almost all Gundam series feature pre-teens such as there for the protagonist. The only thing that has changed are character designs. I'm just leaving this here so that the so-called 'Gundam fans' won't embarrass themselves.
This is really a traditional Gundam archetype pilot episode, but there are some key differences. Some are for the better, and some are for the worse. For one, Flit is far more proactive than most of the pilots that precede him, and a tensai-shounen. He is totally up to date with current events, actually foresaw the attack of the UE. In addition, he is actually responsible for building his own Gundam. This skips the typical 'accidentally becomes a pilot' phase, which is totally welcome for me.
The episode itself was actually not very exciting, and pales in comparison to the three series before it (00, SEED and Wing). However, I actually see a lot of potential in this series because I'm already liking our protagonist more than half of the Gundam protagonists upon the viewing of the first episode of their respective series. Fighting aliens is the one thing I am slightly worried about (think back to the 00 film) but still, as long as it's Gundam I'll keep watching it. The first episode not being bad is an added bonus, and allows me to shove it harder into the haters' faces.
Oh, production values are top notch. As expected from Sunrise for Gundam.