I'm a pretty big fan of Fafner. When I watched the first series last year, I found a series that will consistently find a place among my favorite mecha shows. So that's why I'm here to tell you that you have no excuse to watch this show without having watched the first show and sequel movie.
I've heard a couple of people are watching this series (Fafner in the Azure: Exodus as I call it) without having watched Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor first. This is a terrible idea, and it's rather easy to explain:
The first two episodes are basically nonstop fanservice for existing fans. Look no further than the opening to confirm this. The opening is a throwback in many ways to the original opening in Dead Aggressor. It's not a particularly special opening, except for the fact that it has nostalgic callbacks to the original, complete with an epic song by angela (who coincidentally sang Dead Aggressor's theme as well).
This is not one of those sequel series where the show is going to explain everything to you again, it expects you to know what it's talking about. There's no reason to chime in about this series when you haven't seen Dead Aggressor, full stop.
So far it's going well and it's full of references to the events of the first series and the sequel movie (Fafner in the Azure: Heaven and Earth) and I really hope it ends up being as good as I want it to be. In the meantime you should be looking into the first series just in case this sequel does turn out to be epic.
Are you there?