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Every episode of Little Witch Academia begins with a card that says "A Netflix original series". I don't remember any such card on the two OVAs, and as far as I know the creative work was all done by the same people as the OVAs, Studio Trigger and its staff.

What exactly did Netflix do on the series to make it a "Netflix original"?

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It just means that Netflix is the first-run exclusive broadcaster of the content in the regions where Netflix describes it as a "Netflix original". In its List of original programs distributed by Netflix Wikipedia lists Little Witch Academia in the "Acquisition" section as an "Exclusive international television distribution". It gives the following description of these types of shows:

These television shows, even though Netflix lists them as Netflix originals, are shows that have been aired in different countries, and Netflix has bought exclusive distribution rights to stream them in other various countries. They may be available on Netflix in their home territory and other markets where Netflix does not have the first run license, without the Netflix Original label, some time after their first-run airing on their original broadcaster.

So in the US, for example, Little Witch Academia is a Netflix original, while in Japan it would just be another old TV show in its catalogue. It can happen the other way too, where a show originally broadcast in the US by different broadcaster becomes a Netflix original when shown by Netflix outside of the US.

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    Yeah, Netflix does this with a number of their anime titles - The Seven Deadly Sins is another example. – senshin Aug 27 '17 at 6:31
  • Syfy channel does this a lot as well. They'll claim one of their 3rd rate movies is a "SyFy Original", but if you look up the production details, you'll see it was made and shown in, say, South Africa three years ago. – RichF Aug 27 '17 at 22:11

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