It's pretty obvious that there is a connection and that connection is most likely that Ichigo = Kaien reincarnated.
DollarBill, you're right. You can't kill one without the other. But try reading back where they show what happens. The Hollow clearly explains to Utitake how since they are two spirits, they are completely merged and they if he killed him, then Kaien would die too.
So you're point is null.
Besides, the connections are too obvious to miss. The rules of shounen override the rules of common sense and logic.
1.) As stated before, there would be no point in introducing Kaien then.
2.) Byakuya and Utitake BOTH referred to Ichigo being similar.
3.) The resemblance is pretty much exact. This is blatant and obvious, not just a drawing coincidence like that one vice captain with the 69 on his face.
You'd have to be BLIND to dismiss it so easily.
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